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Yesterday I shared details of our self-guided city tour for Surabaya using Blue Bird Taxi. Today I’d like to share more about the new Surabaya cruise port terminal itself.
We were told that Seabourn Odyssey was the first ship to call at the newly finished cruise terminal in Surabaya. Because we were in a hurry to get out into the city before the day’s heat set in, we did not explore the terminal itself before grabbing a taxi. If we had, we may have never left!
Construction of new or upgraded port facilities is a priority item for Indonesia’s economic development plan with a goal of connecting the archipelago via a “sea highway”. Cruise traffic benefits from these upgrades with shiny new facilities and easier access to cities down the eastern cost of Java and Bali.
One feature of the new terminal is a cultural display featuring the arts and jewels of East Java. Stations are set up in a large display concourse in the terminal where visitors can experience the culture firsthand without straying far from the ship.
A traditional gamelan group played, for example, at one display.
At another, guests could try their hand at the traditional art of batik while another station allowed them to paint traditional masks as key chains.
Or sample java coffee.
Or play with various types of puppets, explore masks, and learn about dance.
Elsewhere in the terminal, local vendors had been brought in to display and sell their wares. This was not just the usual hawker bric-a-brac. Rather I saw good quality wood, glass, and fabric crafts available.
One of my favorite stations was from the local post office. They were selling sheets of unusual postage stamps for the philatelists who might be traveling. But they also offered free local postcards that one could mail buy purchasing the corresponding postage. I never take the time to send postcards anymore so it was nice to have a place to jot off a couple of notes to family back home. (I’m not sure if they have arrived yet – but hopefully they did/will!)
Elsewhere, on the rooftop an Indonesian band played country music and some of the ships passengers and entertainment staff were line dancing.
There was plenty of shaded space and astroturf for those who wanted to enjoy some quiet time overlooking the port.
And the port staff offered plenty of free samples of items that will eventually be for sale in the terminal including light local snacks, ice cream, and young coconut.
The terminal also had a small area for foot reflexology massage at prices that were comparable what we had paid in town that day.
All in all, if one did not want to attempt a group tour or self-guided visit in Surabaya, it would be possible to soak up local culture without venturing far from the ship by staying within the Surabaya cruise port.
You can read more about the other stops on my Indonesian cruise at this page.